Slip and fall accidents are dangerous for everybody, but children are at a greater risk of being seriously injured in a fall. This is partly because children lack the experience needed to properly judge a potentially dangerous situation and take appropriate precautions. Children under five years of age can fit through gaps as small as six-inches. Parents and caregivers can protect children from various types of slip and fall accidents by taking preventative measures at home or on the go. Most of these safeguards require very little investment in terms of time and money, but are worthwhile if they can help prevent a child from being hurt or killed in a fall.
Preventing Slip and Fall Accidents in the Home
Windows are a major concern in homes that have an upper story, as well as in apartments not situated on the ground floor. Falls from windows can be easily prevented with a stop, which prevents the window from being opened further than four inches. An alternative to this are windows that open from the top and are sufficiently high off the sill and floor to be unreachable by children. Adults should also maintain supervision when children are in a room with an open window. Window screens, it should be noted, are not a sufficient safeguard to prevent falls – a damaged or flimsy screen can be easily popped out by the weight of a child.
Stairs are another major concern for multi-story homes, for obvious reasons. Stairwells that are closed off behind a door can be blocked with doorknob covers, gates, or other standard methods. For open stairways, having a lower handrail for little ones and keeping the stairs free of clutter is a good solution. Unsupervised children should not be permitted on porches or balconies, even when railings are present. Doors or windows that lead to a porch or balcony should be kept locked.
Beds for toddlers should have safety railings installed to prevent falls. Bed guards not equipped with nylon mesh must have no less than a four-inch gap between the rails to prevent entrapment. Bunk beds are not advisable for children under six years of age. A night light near the access to the upper bunk and in hallways can help children and adults navigate at night.
Preventing Accidents on the Move
When using a stroller with older children, be sure to check the weight limit set by the manufacturer to see if it is safe. Some models may include a platform for older children to stand on the back. Ensure safety harnesses and straps are being used properly, and that the stroller has a nice wide base so that it will not tip. Shopping carts are notorious for tipping over easily. Children should only be placed in the area designed for seating, and should always wear a seat belt.
Escalators, stairs, slippery or damaged walkways, and cluttered walking areas are common locations for falls. Adults in charge of young children should take care when encountering such conditions to prevent accidents. Having a pair of boots or shoes with non-slip bottoms can help during bad weather. When purchasing footwear for children, parents should ensure that the shoes fit correctly and are easy enough for a child to put on properly.
Cherry Hill Slip and Fall Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Represent Families of Children Who Have Been Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident
If you or your child has been injured in a slip and fall in Cherry Hill, you may be entitled to compensation to help with current and future medical expenses, time away from work, and other damages. Call the Cherry Hill slip and fall lawyers at DiTomaso Law at 856-414-0010 today to schedule a free consultation or contact us online. Our experienced Cherry Hill slip and fall lawyers serve clients across New Jersey and throughout the Philadelphia region.